Carragher claims Klopp will suffer following two Liverpool exits, as Bellingham transfer takes unexpected twist

Jamie Carragher May 2022 Credit: Alamy
Jamie Carragher May 2022 Credit: Alamy

Two Liverpool exits have prompted Jamie Carragher to worry about his former club, while what they mean for a Jude Bellingham transfer has been detailed.

A pair of influential Reds figures were confirmed to be leaving on Thursday. Sporting Director, Julian Ward, was the first name to emerge, with the 41-year-old only having assumed the role over the summer.

Ward succeeded the much heralded Michael Edwards after serving as his assistant for 18 months. The pair were instrumental in several high profile transfer successes at Anfield.

Liverpool were reportedly taken off guard by Ward’s resignation, though he will not officially step down until season’s end. It’s understood Ward does not have another club lined up, and is instead taking a break from football.

That news was quickly followed up by confirmation the club’s Head of Research, Ian Graham, has also resigned.

Graham was responsible for leading the club’s data-driven approach to new signings and worked closely with both Edwards and Ward.

Graham actually resigned earlier in 2022, though is currently serving out his notice period. News of his departure only surfaced yesterday.

The Times reported Jurgen Klopp has taken a more hands-on approach to transfer dealings over the last 12 months. The Mirror, meanwhile, reported CEO Billy Hogan will assume greater responsibility in the day-to-day running of the club.

Direct replacements for Ward and Graham are still expected to be appointed, though Reds legend, Jamie Carragher, is concerned about the exits.

Should Liverpool fans be concerned? Carragher thinks so

They come at a time when owners FSG have confirmed they’re open to a sale. Sky Sports News reported a realistic valuation is £2.75billion, though Man Utd’s own sale could leave Liverpool playing second fiddle.

Responding to the Liverpool departures, Carragher admitted it’s a concern given the disruption it could cause to their transfer plans.

At a time when the midfield are in need of major surgery and the race to sign Jude Bellingham is fiercely contested, Liverpool could well do without losing such influential figures in their recruitment team.

“It’s not ideal because I think when you’re talking about recruiting players, a person in that role [sporting director] is heavily involved,” Carragher told Sky Sports (via the Mirror). “Not just for right now – the January transfer window – you’re talking about the summer as well.

“So it does feel like a little bit of a shock, and I think it is a little bit of a worry for Liverpool right now. There seems to be a lot of upheaval behind the scenes in terms of the ownership.

“Michael Edwards has moved on, Julian Ward came in to replace him – and now he’s gone as well.

“I don’t think it’ll be easy to get someone in straight away if it is unexpected for Liverpool and has come as a shock.

“I’m sure they’re not prepared for something like that right now. But someone will fill that role and hopefully they have as much success in that role as Julian Ward and Michael Edwards has had in the past.”

Jude Bellingham chances suffer

The Times reported Liverpool will push ahead with their winter window and summer plans irrespective of the upheaval.

However, they do acknowledge Liverpool’s hopes of landing Belingham without Ward at the helm can only have suffered.

Ward took the lead on Luis Diaz’s arrival in January and moved quickly to fend off interest from Tottenham. He also was the main driver in Mohamed Salah’s eagerly anticipated contract extension earlier this year.

If Liverpool do struggle to land their top targets in 2023, the biggest loser in the saga will be Jurgen Klopp.

Without wholesale changes to their midfield and an ageing team in general, Liverpool may find their current blip becoming the new norm.

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